Using the light weight deflectometer to assess groomed snow and ice surfaces
Wieder, Wendy L.; Shoop, Sally A. (Sally Annette); Barna, Lynette A.
The Light Weight Deflectometer (LWD) was designed to test the compaction or bearing capacity of in-place aggregate base-course materials. This study evaluated the potential of the LWD to also characterize groomed snow and ice surfaces as the ability to characterize the strength, or bearing capacity, of winter surfaces is crucial for evaluation of vehicle mobility in cold climates. LWD tests were run on a variety of groomed snow and ice surfaces over asphalt pavement, gravel, and soil in the winter of 2018 in both Montana and Michigan. The LWD measures load and deflection, enabling calculation and backcalculation of stiffness parameters for the test surface layers. The initial results were reasonable for the snow layers analyzed. The Impulse Stiffness Modulus, calculated as the impact load divided by the deflection response, presents as a reasonable property for analysis, requiring no assumptions about other snow layer properties. However, the LWD components, specifically the rubber load buffers, may have issues with the effects of low temperature testing. These effects need to be considered when testing snow and ice surfaces. Additionally, the stress and compaction levels that most represent the conditions of interest for mobility purposes need to be determined. Specific and consistent LWD equipment configuration and test procedures need to be determined and implemented in further testing of winter surfaces.
Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory (U.S.)Engineer Research and Development Center (U.S.)
Compaction; Deflection; Ice mechanics; Ice--Bearing capacity; Light weight deflectometer; Loads (Mechanics); Mobility; Snow mechanics; Snow--Bearing capacity; Testing
Technical Report (Engineer Research and Development Center (U.S.)) ; no. ERDC/CRREL TR-19-5
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